Slashing Operational Costs and Improving Efficiency: How Effective Fleet Management Solutions Pay for Themselves
In this article, we delve deeper into five tangible benefits of a comprehensive fleet management solution. Specifically, how it enables your company to:
- Improve visibility and control over your fleet
- Reduce your fuel costs
- Extend the life of your vehicles
- Lower insurance premiums
- Raise customer satisfaction
Improving visibility and control
As we saw in the previous article, fleet management technology is capable of collecting and presenting vital trip and vehicle data to you in real or near real-time. After upgrading its fleet tracking technology, a local company brought down vehicle location time from 30 minutes to only 60 seconds. Depending on your solution, you may just as quickly learn about individual vehicle speed, health, tank fullness, erratic driving and more.
Part of the solution is in how information is presented. A user-friendly dashboard gives you a clear view of performance and problems. Additionally, best-in-breed solutions alert relevant users if an issue has to be addressed at once; for example, if a vehicle has veered too far off route or a speed limit is being broken or if you have to order vehicle parts or schedule inspections.
In the long term, such insights empower you to optimise the resources at your disposal, helping you accurately budget driver hours, vehicle assignments, and fuel costs.
Reducing fuel costs
Fuel is a major monthly expense for fleet owners and comprehensive solutions offer several ways to bring that cost down. The most obvious example is in route planning – the most fuel-efficient route is not necessarily the shortest in distance.
Fuel usage is also tied to driver behaviour. Many drivers keep engines running even when they are parked. This is a non-productive use of fuel, which can add up to several litres per vehicle per day. Fleet management solutions help you identify – and address – driving practices that burn fuel unnecessarily, including idling, suddenly accelerating or breaking, avoiding toll roads, using company vehicles for personal trips, and more.
Your fleet management system may also connect to fuel cards or other cashless fuelling systems which may gain you preferential rates or other rewards. These also add yet another level of insight into individual vehicle fuel consumption and make it easy to identify overspending or unauthorised fuel purchases.
Finally, as we will see in the next section, your system can keep your vehicles in top running order, which also means they consume less fuel. Once again, savings are considerable. We’ve already seen local companies save as much as 20% on annual fuel costs after implementing fuel monitoring.
Extending vehicle life
Vehicles themselves are a huge capital expenditure, so it is in your best interest to keep them performing – and performing well, for as long as possible. A comprehensive fleet management solution will keep track of (and alert you) when a vehicle needs to be serviced or inspected. A more advanced solution can even monitor vehicle health and alert you when a vehicle needs tuning, if tyre pressure is low, and other issues that contribute to vehicular wear and tear.
A healthy vehicle is a safe vehicle, so keeping your vehicles in good working order reduce the costs of repairing breakdowns, as well as reputational damage caused by accidents or late deliveries. Finally, when you decide to upgrade your fleet, you get better resale value on vehicles you kept in good condition.
Better fleet management makes for greater communication and punctuality, which leads to greater customer satisfaction.
Lowering insurance premiums
Reports show that Malaysia has the world’s third-highest number of road accident deaths. Often, these accidents involve commercial vehicles – last year it was reported that lorries and trucks parked illegally in emergency lanes were a major cause of accidents.
An excellent safety record helps companies negotiate lower premiums from insurance companies. Your fleet tracking system can also keep track of safety initiatives you have taken to reduce risk, such as:
- Addressing and correcting errant driver behaviour
- Keeping up to date on tyre rotation, oil changes, servicing, inspections, licenses, registrations, warranties, permits, and road taxes
- Activating safety alerts to increase the probability of recovery after theft
Improving customer satisfaction
In an era where customers demand more, the right fleet management solution positions you to provide a premium level service without premium level expenditure on your part. Customers within the ASEAN region are now on par with the rest of the world in willingness to pay extra for the ability to gain insight into deliveries and other services.
Depending on your customer needs, the best fleet management solution for you may include the ability to choose delivery windows, receive alerts if there will be changes to the schedule, communicate with drivers and admin, track their deliveries, etc.
Just a few of the obvious benefits of these services include reassuring your customers by allowing them visibility over the movements of their products, giving them a feeling of being involved in the process, and many more. This will lead to greater customer satisfaction, in turn, leading to repeat business and further improving your business reputations.
In the next article, we will look at how to choose the best solution for your business.